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Favourite Children's Poems of W. Neil Fraser
On Children
By Kahlil Gibran


The following is not like some poems that rhyme, but it is in verse, and I feel it should be read by both children and parents. I can say that, 'cause I'm a grandfather, and everyone knows that grandfathers are very wise.


And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you,
yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit,
not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.


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